9 Songs, 32 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

With 2013’s Water on Mars, Purling Hiss’s founder and frontman Mike Polizze expands his scratchy basement recordings into a trio that features bassist Kiel Everett and drummer Mike Sneeringer. This nine-song album also finds Polizze veering from his previous no-fi production values (or lack thereof) for a more accessible lo-fi sound that inevitably got him lumped in with Ty Segall and Kurt Vile. But it also got him on live support slots with those artists, as well as with Wilco and Dinosaur Jr. The opening song here, “Lolita,” makes a grand entrance. It sounds like the bastard son of Bleach-era Nirvana, replete with chainsaw-buzzing guitars and Polizze’s vocals recalling Kurt Cobain (back when his blond hair went past his shoulders). The following “Mercury Retrograde” and the melodic “Rat Race” both have more in common with the '90s-inspired indie rock songs that peppered Purling Hiss's preceding album, Public Service Announcement. “Dead Again” dials down the distortion box for a surfy acoustic number that plays like Polizze was raised on Vaselines vinyl. “Mary Bumble Bee” closes with '60s garage rock tones.

EDITORS’ NOTES

With 2013’s Water on Mars, Purling Hiss’s founder and frontman Mike Polizze expands his scratchy basement recordings into a trio that features bassist Kiel Everett and drummer Mike Sneeringer. This nine-song album also finds Polizze veering from his previous no-fi production values (or lack thereof) for a more accessible lo-fi sound that inevitably got him lumped in with Ty Segall and Kurt Vile. But it also got him on live support slots with those artists, as well as with Wilco and Dinosaur Jr. The opening song here, “Lolita,” makes a grand entrance. It sounds like the bastard son of Bleach-era Nirvana, replete with chainsaw-buzzing guitars and Polizze’s vocals recalling Kurt Cobain (back when his blond hair went past his shoulders). The following “Mercury Retrograde” and the melodic “Rat Race” both have more in common with the '90s-inspired indie rock songs that peppered Purling Hiss's preceding album, Public Service Announcement. “Dead Again” dials down the distortion box for a surfy acoustic number that plays like Polizze was raised on Vaselines vinyl. “Mary Bumble Bee” closes with '60s garage rock tones.

TITLE TIME
4:27
3:32
3:04
1:36
2:44
3:33
3:47
7:09
3:03

About Purling Hiss

Philadelphia guitarist and songwriter Mike Polizze first appeared under the name Purling Hiss in 2009 with a self-released, self-titled CD-R. He played all the instruments and recorded the six fuzzy, corrosive pop songs himself at home as a recording-only project. Formerly playing in the heavy psych group Birds of Maya, Polizze played in and around the Philly indie scene, sharing stages with contemporaries like Kurt Vile and the War on Drugs while working on Purling Hiss songs in his basement studio. Following his debut recordings, Polizze went on to release records with various indie labels, including 2010's Public Service Announcement on Woodsist Records, 2011's Lounge Lizards EP on Mexican Summer, and a handful of other cassette and EP releases. In 2013, Polizze expanded Purling Hiss into a power trio, and the newly collaborative three-piece entered a proper studio to record Water on Mars. The album's distorted, introspective tunes were more pop-oriented than anything the band had done before, and the album was released in 2013 on Drag City. The next year, while fans waited for a new album, Drag City reissued the early tour CD Dizzy Polizzy on vinyl, going as far back into Polizze's archive as possible for songs recorded between 2004 and 2009, a time just predating Purling Hiss. A proper follow-up to Water on Mars dropped in the fall of 2014 in the form of Weirdon. That record continued the band's lovingly bent appropriation of '90s grunge and melodic slacker pop. High Bias, another bracing set of noisy but melodic rock, was released by Drag City in 2016. ~ Fred Thomas

  • ORIGIN
    Philadelphia, PA
  • FORMED
    2009

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